With this season’s Champions League moving towards the final four, GiveMeFootball decided it was time to take a look at some of the competition’s all-time greats.
Goals from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in their respective quarter-finals for Barcelona and Real Madrid helped the pair cement their place amongst the very best the competition’s ever seen in-front of goal.
However, both have some way to go to reach the top of the pile, with Raul the ultimate finisher in European competition.
The Spanish legend notched 71 goals in 144 appearances for Los Blancos and Schalke combined, with the 35-year-old setting a mark that few have ever come close to matching.
However, Messi is edging ever closer, with his goal in the 2-2 draw against Paris Saint-Germain moving him to a total of 59 goals in 77 games – far and away the best conversion rate amongst the top ten.
Ruud van Nistelrooy comes third, with the Dutchman notching 56 goals in 88 appearances during spells with PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
But for injury, his total could have been even higher.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry is fourth on the list, but it wasn’t just with the Gunners that all his goals came.
Indeed, the Frenchman notched goals for AS Monaco before moving to Highbury, and also found the net with Barcelona after leaving the Emirates Stadium.
He scored 51 goals in 114 appearances over a 13-year period, and won the trophy once whilst at the Nou Camp.
Ukrainian hero Andriy Shevchenko comes next, with the 2003 victor scoring 48 goals in 116 appearances for Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan and Chelsea.
The 36-year-old scored the winning penalty against in the 2003 against Juventus, but missed a crucial spot-kick in the final against Liverpool two years later.
Ronaldo then comes sixth on the list, with the Portuguese superstar averaging just over a goal every two games with 47 in 93.
His latest effort came in the 3-0 win over Galatasaray in last night’s quarter-final at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Filippo Inzaghi is next, with the Italian hitman taking 46 opportunities in 85 games for Juventus and AC Milan between 1997 and 2012.
Alessandro Del Piero’s 42 goals puts him next on the list, with Didier Drogba five goals further back in ninth place.
The Ivorian has not added to his total since joining Galatasaray, but scored some pivotal goals for Marseille, and most notably Chelsea.
He finally got his hands on the trophy for the Blues last season, scoring in the final for the Stamford Bridge outfit before slotting home the winner in a penalty shootout. He’s also been sent off in a final.
Last but not least in the top ten is Fernando Morientes, with the journeyman Spaniard scoring 33 goals in 104 appearances over a 12-year-period.
The 36-year-old played for five different teams in the competition, including Liverpool, but had most of his success whilst with AS Monaco.
Champions League - Top Ten all-time leading goalscorers:
1) Raul – 71 goals in 144 appearances
2) Lionel Messi – 59 goals in 77 appearances
3) Ruud van Nistelrooy – 56 goals in 88 appearances
4) Thierry Henry – 51 goals in 114 appearances
5) Andriy Shevchenko – 48 goals in 116 appearances
6) Christiano Ronaldo – 47 goals in 93 appearances
7) Filippo Inzaghi – 46 goals in 85 appearances
8) Alessandro Del Piero – 42 goals in 92 appearances
9) Didier Drogba – 37 goals in 77 appearances
10) Fernando Morientes – 33 goals in 104 appearances
NB: Stats correct as of Thursday, 4th April.
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